Living the practice: Working Out Loud on our course prep

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The countdown is really on. Early on Tuesday morning I sent participants in our first on-line WOL circles course joining instructions. There’s only a week to go. At this point I have a healthy mixture of excitement, contentment with our preparation and an inevitable nervousness. No doubt these feelings will ebb and flow in their dominance over the next few days.

When talking about the growth of the Working Out Loud movement John Stepper will always be found making an impassioned plea for everyone to continually practice, to promote mastery and ‘live’ the practice. In that spirit I am reflecting on how I have been Working Out Loud to prepare for facilitating this course in an area where I have felt less confident – the ‘tech’!

We are pushing ourselves to use technology well to make this course accessible, efficient and responsive to the needs of participants, as well as fun and capable of building a strong ‘virtual community’. Not a simple brief. I am not a Luddite, but as may be the case with others who have spent years steeped in large organisations, the opportunities offered by new bits of ‘tech’ have too often been irrelevant for my work when IT departments and company policies have mean that ‘computer says no!’.

 

Taking steps towards my goal

I started upping my tech game several months ago. Helen offered the opportunity to facilitate this course at a point when I was increasingly interested in delivering content for my coaching practice in the on-line environment. So began my ‘purposeful discovery’. Initially, I attended a number of free webinars from others, I even tried out on-line yoga on the recommendation from someone in my WOL circle and looked at the on-line offers of others; but I didn’t manage to form any new relationships. Then having recently relocated to the North of England I found Alex Reid, working to establish a coaching network for the area. Having connected, Alex generously offered a free webinar on ‘designing, producing and delivering webinars’. The content was great, boosted my confidence and I created a short practice webinar about modelling, an NLP technique I felt would be useful to participants in my WOL circle. I made my webinar visible, gathered feedback, have done more practice and designed further examples. I have since offered Alex support in establishing the network for coaches.

In designing the tech delivery of the WOLcircles.com course I have worked closely with, and had much support from, my colleagues Adam and Eve in particular. Together we got our head round which technology to use, the best ways to utilise it, had a number of false starts and a lot of practice. Given that Adam has been in Ecuador for most of this time this has demonstrated to me how well you can build new and good relationships as a team in a virtual setting – it’s been fun and I’ve felt comfortable there was no such thing as a stupid question.

 

And I’m just getting started

So, we’re ready for the course, and I am really looking forward to the delivery. But the inevitably great thing about Working Out Loud is that my adventures in tech are not ending here. There are a host of off-shoot conversations I am having that may or may not lead to something more concrete – everything from mums keeping up with the tech knowledge of their children, ideas of tech in the health system and what we need to consider in girls’ attitudes to tech. A whole world has opened up and who knows where it will go. But first, the course!

Our first Working Out Loud course begins on 9 June, and is run primarily through Zoom and Slack videoconferencing and messaging apps. To hear more about upcoming courses, join our mailing list.

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